Inhofe, Lankford Announce Judicial Nominees for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma

WASHINGTON  U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford (R-Okla.) today announced the nomination of Judge Suzanne Mitchell and Scott Palk for federal judgeship positions for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

“I’m pleased that the White House has nominated Judge Suzanne Mitchell and Scott Palk to the U.S. Federal Court for the Western District, and I congratulate both nominees,” Inhofe said. “This nomination process for these seats has been unnecessarily long, and so I am pleased it has come to a conclusion with two very capable nominees. I fully support their nominations because they have distinguished service in the public sector, valuable private sector experience, and the temperament to serve the state, the interest of justice, and the parties who appear in their courts.”

“Both Judge Mitchell and Scott Palk are impressive nominees for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma,” Lankford said. “We look forward to their nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmation by the full Senate. Though I have had many disagreements with the White House, we agree that Judge Mitchell and Scott Palk are fair-minded and will uphold the strict rule of law. I am confident they will serve our state and nation well.”  

Judge Suzanne Mitchell has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma since 2013.  Prior to her appointment as a Magistrate Judge, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Appellate Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma from 2010 to 2013.  From 1999 to 2010, she served as a senior law clerk to the Honorable Robert H. Henry of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, for whom she also clerked from 1996 to 1997.  In between her clerkships, Judge Mitchell worked at the Oklahoma City law firm of McAfee & Taft from 1997 to 1999.  Judge Mitchell received her J.D. with high honors from George Washington University Law School in 1996 and her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University in 1990.

Scott L. Palk has served as the Assistant Dean for Students and Assistant General Counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law since 2011.  In addition to overseeing admissions and providing legal counsel, Palk serves as a consultant to the University’s Threat Assessment Review Committee, advising in areas of criminal threat assessment and legal access. From 2002 to 2011, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, where he held a number of managerial roles beginning in 2004, including Deputy Criminal Chief and Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Coordinator.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Palk served as an Assistant District Attorney for Cleveland County in Norman, Oklahoma from 1992 to 2002, where he served as the First Assistant District Attorney from 1999 to 2002.  Palk received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1992 and his B.S. from Oklahoma State University in 1989.        

The nomination hearing for these candidates will most likely take place next year. 

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